mjhale wrote:When Macy's went nationwide I feel like there were banking on the fact that folks would welcome and be interested in them simply because of the perceived cachet of the name. In suburban areas of major metro areas that were middle class and above this worked to some extent. But in small town or non-metro areas I think they failed because in most cases they took a long time department store name and turned it into Macy's. How many times have you heard "I want my fill in the blank local department store chain name back. Screw the people who destroyed it." This is even true in large metro areas. When Macy's bought May and got rid of Hechts in the DC area it was another local nameplate down the drain. Even though Hechts was owned by May they still had local offices and buyers. I know many long time Washingtonians who will never forgive Macys for homogenizing the stores which ultimately ended in getting rid of anything Hechts.
Friends in LA still bemoan the conversion of Bullock's to Macy's and we all know how Chicagoans (and expats like me) feel about the loss of Marshall Field's. I recall Terry Lundgren saying focus groups indicated that they would prefer the Macy's name over Field's and in other cities the local department store name. Unless those focus groups consisted of he, himself, and him they were NOT saying that - and Macy's subsequent troubles prove that out.
I don't recall that, but the only way that could be true is if it was a comparison to the set-up prior to 2006. With the exception of California and New York, Macy's stores tended to be in more upscale malls. Where Foley's was in Houston, there was only one Macy's left after they pulled out in 1996, and I think in the entire state of Texas there weren't more than a small handful with one or two in urban areas in each.
I wouldn't be surprised if Macy's started out driving off customers in rural areas because of the perception that it was higher-priced, even though by that time Macy's downscaled to be more mass market.
One of the areas in which I felt Macy's was strong is home and furniture. Then I moved to Phoenix. The stores here don't have half the selection of the home stores in San Diego, LA, and Orange County. They are apparently working toward increasing the variety in their stores, but with competition from Ashley, Living Spaces, Mor, Ethan Allen (we still have them here), and on and on they had better hurry or else they will never catch up.[/quote]